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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sega Dreamcast still alive and kicking!

Believe it or not, but there are two new games coming out for the Sega Dreamcast in early 2006! Yes, even though Sega pulled the plug on the Dreamcast two to three years ago, its big brother Naomi (still in use in arcades today) is having new games developed for it in Japan. Since the Dreamcast runs basically the same hardware as Naomi (less some texture memory), porting arcade games from Naomi to Dreamcast is relatively simple. There were a trickle of Naomi to Dreamcast ports released in 2004 and 2005, and now it looks like the trend is continuing into 2006. Sega was gracious (smart) enough to reopen Dreamcast licensing with these developers, and is even jumping on the marketing bandwagon by bundling new Dreamcast consoles with these games (only in Japan of course)!

Better yet, these two new arcade ports are exactly the style of game which I enjoy the most, vertical shooters. :-) The new games are Radilgy by Milestone (to be released 2/16/06), and Under Defeat by G.Rev (to be released 3/23/06). Preorders are open now at playasia.

Sample videos of each game are located on the sites linked above. If you can't find the Under Defeat ones, here is a complete Stage 2 replay.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas news

This is what happens when you let a geek decorate your home with xmas lights.

And here is an interesting way to break the news to your kids that there is no Santa Claus.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Working over the holidays

Although I have the next 2 weeks off from real work, I'm going to be VERY busy working on many neglected personal projects. Here are just the arcade related ones I hope to get to:

  • Install a new 29" arcade monitor in a friends cabinet in Hayward
  • Install another new 29" monitor in my Windy 2 cab
  • Disassemble, re-paint inside/outside of Astro City 2 cab, reassemble (huge project)
  • Install isolation transformer in Spy Hunter cab
  • Build arcade control panel for 36" monitor (have all parts, just need to cut/route the panel)
  • Re-cap 25" monitor in NBA Jam
  • Prototype standard radpid fire circuit on breadboard
  • Prototype synchonous rapid fire circuit on breadboard
I'm sure I won't be able to get to everything, but the big ones like installing the monitors, fixing spy hunter, and repainting the astro cab are what I really hope to accomplish. I loaned my digital camera to my girlfriend who is traveling over the next month, so I won't be able to display the final results of these projects until mid-January.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Guitar Hero

Even an oldskool gamer like me enjoys playing a rhythm game every now and long as there is NO dancing involved. Samba De Amigo is one of my favorites games, and as close to dancing as I will get. Pop'N Music and Taiko Drum Master would be cool if I could ever get a realistic arcade controller for it, not the chinsey plastic ones that come packaged with the PS2 games. Speaking of which, Guitar Hero was recenetly released for PS2, with a very favorable rating from Gamespot. Yet again, the chinesy plastic controller kinda kills the expierence. This game is based off the arcade version of Guitar Freaks that at least uses real wood in its scaled down (and dumbed down) version of a guitar. Guitar Hero choose to model its controller after a guitar I actually own, a Gibson SG Jr. Now if I could only get my guitar to work with this game, we'd be set. :-)

Here is the Guitar Hero controller.

My real Gibson SG Jr.

If you are curious about how Pop'N Music works in a real arcade, checkout this crazy video of an expert player.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Got a new PS2 import game over the weekend called Homura. Of course, Homura is a vertical shooter style game. :-) It was originally created last year for the Taito Type-X arcade system in Japan, and just recently ported to the Playstation2 (released last week). I pre-ordered the game from yesasia, first time using this online store and am quite happy with their service, especially the free shipping. :-)

Although Homura has some bland 3D backgrounds/graphics (now the norm of Type-X games), I'm really enjoying the gameplay. Skonec did a fine job, and has bullet patterns remenisent of its previous title Psyvariar 2.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My first 1CC

Since this has been a slow week for me game wise (way to much real work), I thought I'd post a milestone I reached last week, which was my very first 1CC - which stands for 1 Credit Complete. The game is DoDonPachi, and is a very popular Japanese shooter, not to mention quite difficult! I was able to play the game to the logical end (6 levels) on a single quarter/credit, which took about 20 minutes.

Next goal for this game is to either break 50M in score, or 330 in Max Hits to access the 2nd loop (an extra 6 levels at greatly increased difficulty).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Oldskool Gamer

Ok, first real post. Back in the fall of 1978, while in a 5th grade art class, listening to Steve Martin's wildly popular song King Tut, a friend told me about the most amazing video game that just came out called Space Invaders. Back at home, my brothers and I were merely playing pong/squash/tennis (or anything else that involved a ball being smacked back and forth) on a Telstar system. Listening to the description of Space Invaders (a real wooden upright video game), I couldn't imagine a game where the action scrolled vertically, much less the manic nature of shooting all these aliens as they speed up racing to land on the ground. It was then that I went to my first arcade, and was hooked. I feel priviledged to have witnessed the birth of Arcade Games, and real Arcades for that matter.

Today's home video games are all RPG story driven crap that drags on for hours/days/months, or derivative FPS shooters - a small few I do enjoy playing, but only on the PC. Arcades are pretty much relegated to Dance Dance Revolution (and the like) in movie theatre lobbies. I feel sorry for today's youth to have never experienced the "evolution" of real arcade games. To be able to appreciate hand drawn pixel artwork over pre-rendered 3D animated cut scenes. To feel that burst of adrenaline as your ass is handed back to you in about 2 to 4 minutes per quarter of play.

Yeah, I'm an oldskool gamer, and I have a garage full of real arcade games to prove it. Its for this reason that I haven't turned on my Xbox in almost a year, and its the reason why I'm not really interested in the latest Xbox 360 or Playstation3, or Nintendo Revolution. Hmm...actually, scratch that last part. The Nintendo Revolution does interest me a bit with its weird new controller, but more out of an HCI curiosity than anything else.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I've never seen blogs as having any real value outside of keeping in touch with friends in a very public way. And since some coworkers recently started blogs, I thought I'd give it a try, so be prepared for lots of spelling and gramatical errors.